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You can, you should, and if you are brave enough to start, you will. - Stephen King.
On this day a year ago, I started my first job as a Frontend Developer.
August 2019, I was redeployed to Ibadan, Nigeria for my mandatory service year. I reconnected with a former classmate there and while catching up, she mentioned her new interest in tech as a career path—there has been quite a lot of talk about opportunities in tech in recent times and although I've always been interested in the internet and technology in general, I hadn't really considered it as a path for me.
This time though, I was curious. I decided to delve into what these career opportunities were actually about. After numerous articles, videos and other resources, I had a better understanding. Also, something had caught my eye—Frontend Development. I was quite hesitant because I had a not-so-pleasant experience with a programming course while I was at university, but I liked that this involved bringing amazing designs to life and creating interfaces that people would actually interact with.
I began to research frontend development pathways and courses, and decided to go for the free ones first. If I ended up not liking it, I really didn't have anything to lose. Also, I was a corps member so I couldn't afford most of the paid courses anyway.
I started with Codecademy and freeCodeCamp. I took courses on coding fundamentals, HTML and CSS. I soon completed my Responsive Web Design Certification.
Getting My First Job
I set up my portfolio, put together a résumé and I was ready to begin applying. I soon discovered that there weren't a lot of entry-level positions or internships for someone who didn't already have a lot of experience. 😔
It was dreary. The end of my service year was also drawing close and I needed to have a plan.
I decided to start applying for the jobs requiring a bajillion years of experience and skills that I wasn't 'qualified' for. What's the worst that could happen?
About three weeks before the official end of my service year, I applied for a Frontend Developer role I saw on one of the numerous job sites I frequently visited.
I got called for an interview some days later.
Then they wanted to proceed with a technical interview. This was followed by a coding challenge.
Four days to my passing out ceremony, I was made an offer.
The Road Ahead
Although not without its challenges, my journey has been enlightening. I've met and worked with some of the most brilliant and helpful people in the short time I've been here. I'm genuinely grateful for the opportunity.
I still have a long way to my goals and a major key to achieving them is to keep learning. Either by building, reading, watching or any other way.
And it's one of the reasons I've also started this blog. I hope that by documenting my journey, I can share knowledge and also reinforce mine. 🧡